I've added a new blog to the blogroll, Wonkman. The first post up is Men’s Rights Activists: A Letter to Marilena, criticizing the men's rights movement on the grounds that the paradigms it uses--strongly opposed to women's rights full stop, seeing all conflicts through the lens of male oppression, et cetera--aren't helpful to the authentically worthy causes taken up by that movement.
Bluntly stated, it is absolutely undeniable that many self-identifying Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) simply hate women. Some MRAs have no problem with women whatsoever. Some MRAs merely resent women. (“She belongs in the kitchen” and other trash like that.) But large numbers openly, vocally and explicitly hate women. It shows in the language they use, the culture they consume and promote, in their stated attitudes about women, in their own self-image, and most of all in their politics.
And it’s not just that these men are kind of gross. It’s that the MRA movement provides a means by which they can organize and seek legitimacy. Instead of a bunch of isolated cranks writing nasty anonymous letters to women with blogs and newspaper columns, it’s an echo chamber within which the cranks can organize, spread their vitriol more efficiently, and actively work to dismantle anything which offends their delicate, delicate sensibilities.
Now, let’s not dismiss them unfairly. As I said upthread, MRAs do have some core points worth considering. Could it be the case that the good outweighs the bad? That making progress on these important issues counts for more than the fact that some of these guys are assholes?
Well, maybe. But here’s the key thing: we don’t need MRAs. In fact, more often than not, they do more harm than good.